Sharm el-Sheik is one of the largest tourist-destinations in the Arabic world. But there are also some very good reasons to visit it if you are not the common tourist, who likes to lay on the beach all day. It is one of the finest diving-spots in the world and a trip into the desert is an unforgetable adventure.
The Sinai peninsula is a remote desert mountain range. The rocky mountains are parted from the deep-blue sea by a flat desert strip. This combination of desert and sea is an incredible sight and makes you believe your are on a different planet.
About 15 years ago, Sharm el-Sheik was nothing but a small fishing-village with about 100 citicens. The Sinai had been occupied by Israel and was restricted military area. But shortly after they had left, the Egyptians started to build up a tourist destination with now a population of 10'000 people. There are a nice promenade, a Hard Rock Coffee, one of the most modern hospitals in Egypt and so on.
A visit to the desert is highly recomendable. The hotels offer various trips to the Beduins, the beautiful Coloured Canyon, the ancient St.Catherine monastry or to Mt.Sinai. The more adventurous should try to find a private guide, who takes them for a few days into the mountain desert with a camel. You will walk through hidden valleys, rest at secret oasis and during the night you sleep under a breathtaking firmament.
Diving, however, is the main activity in Sharm el-Sheik. When you dive into the warm water of the Red Sea and leave the remote desert behind, you will enter a world full of live and colours. The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world. They can be reached by boat from Sharm within two hours. Ras Mohammed is the name of the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula. There, the current of the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez. Due to the increase of plankton in the water the amount of fish is incredible. Huge schools of Barracudas, Sharks and Murrays can be seen there every day. The disadvantage of its popularity is that you may find up to 20 boats at the same reef. If you take a daily-boat you may enjoy your dive in the company of fifty other divers. The smart sinai-divers book a diving-safari. This way you avoid the crowds at the popular spots and have the possibility to dive beautiful reefs way beyond the reach of any daily-boats. All in all, the costs of a diving-safari does not exceed daily-diving and it saves you a lot of stress.
I have been in Sharm el-Sheik many times, as it is very close to Europe. I have never lost interrest in this great place.
Enjoy your traveling